Essential Power Tools

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Home Improvement

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Sometimes, the basic toolkit isn’t sufficient for the job. Here are some of the top power tools to add to your collection.

If you’re a homeowner looking to tidy up a few trees in the yard or cut some firewood, a chainsaw can be a very useful machine. Later, we’ll examine machines for more precise cutting.

A circular saw with a round, flat blade makes cuts in wood, metal, or plastic. They are lightweight and portable, so you can bring them to where the work needs to be done.


© iStockphoto / Stanislav Komogorov

A carpenter is using a miter saw, also known as a drop saw. Miter saws are stable and usually have fine adjustments, allowing you to make challenging cuts more quickly and accurately.


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For larger cutting jobs, the reciprocal saw is useful because of its small form, making it useful where other power tools can’t reach. Learn about its cousin, the saber saw, next.

Like reciprocal saws, saber saws use a motor to move a small saw blade back and forth, but their portability makes them more versatile. Take a look at more fine-tuned power tools for woodworking on the next few pages.


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Electric planers are relatively inexpensive and perfect for smoothing uneven surfaces. Next, you’ll see one of the oldest power tools.


© iStockphoto / Scott Jantzen

Lathes have been around for centuries in hand- or foot-powered form. By using a spinning lathe, you can cut grooves or smooth curves in a wooden spindle. The next power tool, the router, is perfect for finishing designs in woodwork.


© iStockphoto / Dave White

This router is fitted with a cutter and a guide. If you use a simple, shop-made jig as a guide, you can cut inlay like this diamond shape.

An electric sander is used to smooth wood or automotive surfaces and can save a lot of time. If you need even more abrasive power, check out the next page.


© iStockphoto / Alexey Tkachenko

Grinders are often used for metal, but they’re also perfect for shaping ceramic tile or brick. What if you just need to make a hole?

This battery-powered drill features an electric motor that rotates a drill bit to make a hole. Sometimes, drills are combined in one unit with the next tool, the screwdriver.


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An electric screwdriver combines a lot of technology into a compact package. Many come with adjustable heads, so you can use them in tight spaces.


© iStockphoto / Christina Richards

A carpenter is using a nail gun to attach asphalt shingles to a roof; it’s much quicker than using a hammer to drive nails. What if you need to paint the house you just built?


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For large painting jobs, an airless sprayer is the most efficient way to paint. Later, we’ll look at some of the more uncommon and expensive power tools.

The image displayed is a photograph that has been provided by Torchmate. Plasma cutters serve the same purpose for metal as saws do for wood. If operating such a tool seems daunting, it may be helpful to begin by familiarizing oneself with the essential tools that every builder should have in their toolbox.

FAQ

1. What are must-have power tools for DIY enthusiasts?

As a DIY enthusiast, there are several power tools that you must have in your arsenal. These include a drill, circular saw, jigsaw, reciprocating saw, and an oscillating multi-tool. These tools will allow you to tackle a wide range of DIY projects with ease.

2. What should I look for when buying a drill?

When buying a drill, look for one with a high power output, variable speed settings, and a comfortable grip. It should also have a keyless chuck for easy bit changes and a clutch to prevent the drill from stripping screws.

3. What is the difference between a circular saw and a jigsaw?

A circular saw is best used for making straight cuts in wood or other materials, while a jigsaw is ideal for cutting curves and intricate shapes. Both tools are essential for any DIY enthusiast.

4. Should I invest in a cordless or corded power tool?

It depends on your needs. Cordless power tools offer greater mobility, but corded tools provide more consistent power. If you plan on using your power tools frequently, investing in a corded option may be the better choice.

5. What is an oscillating multi-tool used for?

An oscillating multi-tool is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, including sanding, grinding, and cutting. Its oscillating motion makes it ideal for precise work in tight spaces.

6. What should I look for when buying a reciprocating saw?

When buying a reciprocating saw, look for one with a high power output, adjustable speed settings, and a comfortable grip. It should also have a quick-release blade mechanism for easy blade changes.

7. What is a miter saw used for?

A miter saw is used for making angled cuts in wood or other materials. It is essential for any DIY enthusiast who wants to tackle projects like crown molding or picture frames.

8. What should I look for when buying a table saw?

When buying a table saw, look for one with a powerful motor, a sturdy table, and a reliable fence system. It should also have safety features like a blade guard and anti-kickback pawls.

9. What is a planer used for?

A planer is used for smoothing rough wood surfaces, making them flat and even. It is an essential tool for any DIY enthusiast who wants to work with wood.

10. Should I buy a corded or cordless angle grinder?

It depends on your needs. Corded angle grinders provide more consistent power, while cordless options offer greater mobility. If you plan on using your angle grinder frequently, investing in a corded option may be the better choice.

11. What is a rotary tool used for?

A rotary tool is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, including sanding, grinding, and cutting. Its small size makes it ideal for precise work in tight spaces.

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